|December 02, 2016
MEDIA ADVISORY M19-16
NASA Sets Coverage for Briefings, Launch of Small Satellite Constellation
The launch of NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) spacecraft is scheduled for 8:24 a.m. EST Monday, Dec. 12. News briefings, live launch commentary, photo opportunities and other media events will be held at nearby NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
During the one-hour window, which opens at 8:19 a.m., CYGNSS will take off aboard an Orbital Sciences ATK air-launched Pegasus XL launch vehicle. The rocket is scheduled for deployment over the Atlantic Ocean from Orbital’s L-1011 carrier aircraft.
CYGNSS will make frequent and accurate measurements of ocean surface winds throughout the lifecycle of tropical storms and hurricanes. The CYGNSS constellation consists of eight microsatellite observatories that will measure surface winds in and near a hurricane’s inner core, including regions beneath the eyewall and intense inner rainbands that previously could not be measured from space.
Saturday, Dec. 10
Social Media Event
Kennedy will be hosting a Facebook Live event at noon from the Skid Strip runway at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Briefers will highlight both the science involved in the CYGNSS mission, as well as the L-1011 aircraft and the Pegasus rocket, and participants will get a view inside the airplane. The event will stream live on Kennedy’s Facebook page at:
For all media briefings, reporters may ask questions by calling the Kennedy newsroom at 321-867-2468 no later than 15 minutes before briefings begin. Media also can ask questions via Twitter by using the hashtag #askNASA.
1 p.m. – Prelaunch news conference at the Kennedy Press Site
Briefing participants are:
1:45 p.m. – CYGNSS Mission Science Briefing
Briefing participants include:
Monday, Dec. 12
5:45 a.m. – Prelaunch program by NASA EDGE
6:45 a.m. – Launch coverage and commentary begins
Special News Media Events
On Saturday, December 10, at 3 p.m., following the prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing, a bus will depart from the Kennedy Press Site for Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. At the Skid Strip runway, there will be a photo opportunity of the integrated Pegasus/CYGNSS vehicle and a tour of the L-1011 aircraft by representatives of Orbital ATK. Long pants and flat closed-toe shoes will be required on the ramp at the Skid Strip.
Launch Day Press Coverage
On launch day, Dec. 12, media representatives will depart from the Kennedy Press Site to the Skid Strip runway at 6 a.m. for the take-off of the L-1011 carrying the Pegasus XL rocket. After departure, media will be taken back to the Press Site to follow the deployment and launch of Pegasus/CYGNSS from a chase plane accompanying the aircraft for live video coverage.
Assuming a normal flight of the Pegasus launch vehicle, a post-launch news conference will not be held. However, launch vehicle and spacecraft representatives will be available afterward to informally answer questions from the media.
NASA Television Coverage Of Pegasus/CYGNSS
Because this Pegasus launch occurs with a chase plane equipped with a television camera, there will be live coverage on NASA Television beginning at 6:45 a.m. Monday, Dec. 12. Coverage begins prior to departure of the L-1011 aircraft and will conclude after final spacecraft separation, 14 1/2 minutes after Pegasus ignition. Launch commentary and audio of all Pegasus/CYGNSS briefings will be available on the “V” audio circuits, which may be dialed directly at 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260. Mission audio of the launch conductor’s countdown operations without NASA TV launch commentary will be available by dialing 321-867-7135.
Also on launch day, Dec. 12, NASA Television will simulcast a special prelaunch program carried by NASA EDGE starting at 5:45 a.m. The program is live and featured on the NASA web and social media sites. It will cover the CYGNSS mission and its launch aboard the Pegasus XL rocket.
The Pegasus/CYGNSS prelaunch news conference will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, and will be followed immediately by a mission science briefing at 1:45 p.m. On launch day, Monday, Dec. 12, launch coverage begins on NASA Television at 6:45 a.m.
NASA Web Prelaunch And Launch Coverage
Extensive prelaunch and launch day coverage of the launch of CYGNSS will be available on NASA’s home page at:
The CYGNSS prelaunch news conference and the mission briefing will be carried live on the web Saturday, Dec. 10. A prelaunch webcast for the CYGNSS mission will be available on NASA’s YouTube channel and NASA’s website on Sunday, Dec. 11. Live countdown coverage through NASA’s Launch Blog begins at 6:30 a.m., Monday, Dec. 12. Coverage features live updates as countdown milestones occur, as well as video clips highlighting launch preparations and the flight. For NASA’s Launch Blog, visit:
PEGASUS/CYGNSS NEWS CENTER
The Pegasus/CYGNSS News Center at Kennedy may be reached at 321-867-2468 between noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, and between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 12. The News Center will be closed on Sunday, Dec. 11.
The Space Physics Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan College of Engineering in Ann Arbor leads overall mission execution in partnership with the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. The Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering Department at the University of Michigan leads the science investigation. The Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate oversees the mission.
The NASA Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for spacecraft integration and launch management. Orbital ATK Corp. of Dulles, Virginia, provides the Pegasus XL launch service to NASA.
For more information about NASA’s CYGNSS mission, visit:
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